BOSTON — Nearly a million doses of vaccine have been administered in the state. The rollout is beginning to pick up steam but some critics say there are still a lot of problems. One issue is a clear policy on how to handle the last-minute extra doses.
Officially, Governor Charlie Baker says someone has to be eligible and have an appointment to get their vaccine. When the clock starts ticking on these precious doses there have been situations where people in the right place at the right time get vaccinated.
“We don’t believe there should be sorts of a cattle call at the end of the day. People need to manage their dosing and their vaccine,” said Governor Baker.
On Wednesday, a long line started to form at the mass vaccination site in Danvers after a rumor about extra doses started spreading. There were extra doses but the site told us they filled the openings with people who had future appointments.
“The only word that should get out is you have an appointment. This other stuff is completely inconsistent with our policy and the most important thing people need to understand you should have an appointment,” said Baker.
The state’s new vaccine companion program rolled out Thursday, allowing someone 75 and over to be accompanied by a trusted companion, regardless of their age, and both get vaccinated. It did not take long for ads to post on Craigslist offering money to seniors in exchange for letting them help so they could be vaccinated, too.
Baker called it disturbing.
“If you are 75 years or older and you need assistant going through the vaccination process you should only reach out to someone you know or trust to bring you as a companion,” he said.
The companion program is only for those large mass sites. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts announced that they are fronting a million dollars to pay for rides for people trying to get to their appointments. Especially in the hardest-hit communities of color.
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